El Hadji Diouf has been engaging in his favourite pastime again, antagonising former teammates Steven Gerrard and/or Jamie Carragher.
The ex-Senegal and Liverpool forward has never been shy in aiming digs at the Anfield legends, regularly dismissing them as jealous and bitter of his successful career. Gerrard and Carragher’s comebacks to these swipes make it blatantly clear that there is no love lost in either direction.
Diouf has been at it again with the former over the weekend, firstly claiming that he had no problem with Gerrard before going on to dub himself “Mr Senegal.”
Speaking to the BBC, the outspoken 36-year-old, now working as a sport adviser to the President of Senegal, argues that he is not a bad person, just a bad loser:
“I have no problem with him. He [Gerrard] is a strong character and I am a strong character.
“‘Stevie G’ was a very good player. People like him in Liverpool but he never did anything for his country. I am Mr El Hadji Diouf, Mr Senegal but he is Mr Liverpool and Senegal is bigger than Liverpool and he has to know that.”
Diouf goes on to champion Senegal’s achievements at the 2002 World Cup, wherein they defeated reigning champions France on their way to the quarter-finals, and likened his own contribution to that of Diego Maradona with Argentina in 1986 in that famous World Cup-winning team:
“We put Senegal on the world map. Before the World Cup nobody knew Senegal, but after the World Cup everybody wanted to know where Senegal was.
“What Maradona did for his country is what I did for Senegal. I was one of the biggest men at the 2002 World Cup.
“We were colonised by France. Most of the businesses are run by French people here and to beat them was a big thing for us.
“Before the game, they used to say, ‘The reserve team is going to play against the first team’ – because most of the players used to play in the French league.
“I used to be at Lens, Salif Diao [was at Sedan], Khalilou Fadiga [was at Auxerre], most of the players played in the French league but we used to say: ‘Be careful before you kill the lion.'”
Good to see that the years haven’t dulled any of Diouf’s confidence.